NATO says 2 boys killed accidentally
KABUL - International forces accidentally killed two Afghan boys during an operation in southern Afghanistan, the U.S.-led coalition said Saturday.
Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford, the commander of U.S. and allied forces in Afghanistan, offered his "personal apology and condolences to the family of the boys who were killed" and said the coalition takes full responsibility for the deaths.
A statement issued by the coalition says the boys were killed Thursday when coalition forces fired at what they thought were insurgent forces in the Shahid-e Hasas district of Uruzgan province.
Moscow skeptical of US autopsy on boy
MOSCOW - Russia voiced strong skepticism Saturday about the U.S. autopsy on a 3-year-old adopted Russian boy in Texas and demanded further investigation as thousands rallied in Moscow to support the Kremlin ban on U.S. adoptions.
Max Shatto's death in January, ruled accidental, came a month after Moscow passed a ban on international adoptions in retaliation for a new U.S. law targeting alleged Russian human rights violators. Russian officials have pointed at Max's case to defend the ban.
The boy, born Maxim Kuzmin, died Jan. 21 after his adopted mother, Laura Shatto, told authorities she found him unresponsive outside their home where he had been playing with his younger brother.
Ector County Sheriff Mark Donaldson and District Attorney Bobby Bland said Friday that four doctors reviewed the autopsy report and agreed that the boy's death was not intentional. Preliminary autopsy results had indicated Max had bruises on several parts of his body, but Bland said Friday that those bruises appeared to be self-inflicted. He also said no drugs were found in Max's system.
Japan gets warning anew over islands
BEIJING - China has issued another scathing attack on Japan over an islands dispute, just days ahead of the opening of the Chinese national legislature's annual session.
The spokesman for the legislature's chief advisory body, Lu Xinhua, told reporters at a Saturday news conference that if any unintended clash occurred as a result of their patrol boats and planes operating close to one another, Japan would "be held solely responsible for all consequences."
The long-standing dispute between China and Japan over the islands flared anew after Japan purchased three of the five in the group from their private owners in September. Beijing says the islands have been Chinese for centuries.
Netanyahu gets more time to form coalition
JERUSALEM - Israeli President Shimon Peres on Saturday granted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu another two weeks to form a governing coalition after Netanyahu failed to build a broad coalition including ultra-Orthodox Jewish parties.
In a televised address, Netanyahu said some parties wish to "boycott" an entire Israeli demographic. It was a reference to the nationalist Jewish Home and centrist Yesh Atid parties, which have refused to join his coalition if it includes the ultra-Orthodox.
If Netanyahu fails, political newcomer Yair Lapid, who heads Yesh Atid, Israel's second largest party, could be offered the chance to form the coalition, or new elections could be held.
The Associated Press